An imaginative eight year-old boy from Birmingham has turned his family’s experience with a serious illness into a story which has won praise from best-selling children’s author, David Walliams.
Miller Brennan, who lives in Kings Heath, learned all about children’s liver disease in August last year when his baby brother, Huxley, was born with the rare liver condition, biliary atresia and underwent emergency surgery when he was just four weeks old. So when he heard about the National Young Writers Awards, Miller decided to enter the competition with a story about his little brother’s battle with his arch-nemesis, biliary atresia, and all the amazing people who were trying to save him.
Miller’s superhero story caught the imagination of the judges and was named one of the top ten of 39,000 competition entries which meant he received a signed print of his story from David Walliams, one of his own favourite authors.
“Huxley’s illness has obviously been difficult for the whole family, but his mum Laura and I have always made sure Miller knows exactly what is happening and because of that he has a very mature outlook,” explains Miller’s dad Dean. “He has always loved putting his ideas on paper and when this competition came up it was the perfect opportunity for him to express how he felt about the situation and put it into his own perspective. He was so proud to make the top ten out of so many entries and to know that David Walliams, whom he really admires, had enjoyed his story made it extra special.”
Since Miller entered the competition, Huxley’s liver deteriorated, and he received a life-saving transplant in November. Encouraged by his competition success and having witnessed yet more superhero action from everyone involved, Miller was inspired to pen a sequel to his original story and now has a trilogy planned!
“It’s been a roller-coaster few months, but we are delighted that Huxley’s transplant has been a success and we can now look forward to a family Christmas at home,” says Dean. “Miller has coped brilliantly with the whole experience and when Huxley gets older we look forward to reading him the stories which he inspired.”
Alison Taylor, Chief Executive of Children’s Liver Disease Foundation who have provided the family with information and support commented: “Childhood liver disease affects the whole family and it can be especially difficult for siblings when one child has to spend long periods in hospital and family life is disrupted. Miller has shown incredible imagination. His superhero story is a wonderful way of making sense of a difficult situation and is something which will doubtless help other children who find themselves in that position. He should be truly proud of himself, and we wish he and his family a very happy Christmas.”
For more information on CLDF visit childliverdisease.org.
You can read Miller’s superhero story HERE.